Kimi Raikkonen takes second Australian GP victory

Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen and Lotus have opened their 2013 Formula 1 World Championship campaign in perfect fashion, taking the Australian Grand Prix victory.

The race was a typically tyre strategy-dependent affair, with the two-stopping Finn taking the flag a full 12.4s ahead of second-placed Fernando Alonso.

Sebastian Vettel, Felipe Massa, Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber rounded out the top six, will all bar Raikkonen completing three stops.

Webber’s race was hampered by a shocking start that saw the Red Bull drop from second on the grid to a low of seventh.

Starting on the medium tyres after qualifying outside the top 10, Adrian Sutil ran at the front for much of the race, but fell to seventh with a difficult third and final stint on the super softs.

Team-mate Paul di Resta was eighth ahead of Jenson Button and Romain Grosjean.

Daniel Ricciardo retired with 19 laps remaining, his Toro Rosso suffering a broken exhaust.

Nico Rosberg was also on the retirements list after a mid-race electrical failure on his Mercedes.

Others in trouble were Pastor Maldonado, who spun into the gravel and out of the race on Lap 25, and Nico Hulkenberg, who failed to take the start after a fuel system failure on his Sauber.

The race was run in largely dry conditions, with threatening cloud cover only bringing occasional light drizzle.

Raikkonen now has two Australian Grand Prix victories to his name following his 2007 success in his first race for Ferrari.

Vettel led away from his pole position before the leading contenders made early first stops to change from the super soft to the medium rubber.

Vettel, Massa, Alonso and Raikkonen ran line-astern behind the yet-to-pit Sutil in the second stint, with the Spaniard then leap-frogging his way to the front of the train via an early second stop.

Raikkonen by contrast ran long in his second stint. His strategy was further helped by his rivals again coming across off-sequence runners early in their third spells.

That left Alonso to rejoin from his final stop almost 10 seconds adrift of Raikkonen and, despite enjoying younger tyres, the Ferrari had no answer for its black and gold rival.

The 2013 Formula 1 World Championship continues with the Malaysian Grand Prix this weekend.

See below for the full race result

Pos

Driver

Team

Laps

Time/Retired

Grid

1 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 58 Winner 7
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 58 +12.4 secs 5
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 58 +22.3 secs 1
4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 58 +33.5 secs 4
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 58 +45.5 secs 3
6 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 58 +46.8 secs 2
7 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 58 +65.0 secs 12
8 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 58 +68.4 secs 9
9 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 58 +81.6 secs 10
10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 58 +82.7 secs 8
11 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 58 +83.3 secs 15
12 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 58 +83.8 secs 13
13 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 57 +1 Lap 18
14 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 57 +1 Lap 16
15 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 57 +1 Laps 19
16 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 56 +2 Lap 22
17 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 56 +2 Laps 20
18 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 56 +2 Laps 21
Ret Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 39 +19 Laps 14
Ret Nico Rosberg Mercedes 26 +32 Laps 6
Ret Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 24 +34 Laps 17
Ret Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 0 Fuel System 11

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